Is Bottled Water Actually Good for You

When you’re on the go, it can be so easy to reach into a fridge at a supermarket or convenience store and pick up a bottle of water. Hydration is important, so there is no shame in staying hydrated and occasionally breaking your own rules about single use plastic. It happens! 

 We all know that using a stainless steel water bottle that can be reused time and time again and is the ideal option, however if you are desperate for a drink of water and don’t have one available, you’re going to need to buy bottled water 9 times out of 10. 

We’re looking at some of the key reasons that bottled water should be bought with caution.

Why is bottled water bad for you?

Bottled water isn’t necessarily bad for you, however the misconception is often that it is good for you. Bottled water came along as an alternative to tap water. Tap water is convenient and cheap, and so it’s rival bottled water came along to offer a little luxury to the market. In the 70s, 80s and 90s, bottled water boomed as a kind of healthier version of normal water, infused with minerals and somehow cleaner than tap water. 

Sadly, a lot of those myths about bottled water turned out to be false. Yes, tap water is highly filtered and treated, but the reality is that bottle water is too. In order to meet health requirements bottled water has to go through a lot of treatments, and is also bottled in plastic. This combination of using energy, water and plastic to clean and package bottled water makes it bad for both the human consuming it and the environment.

Here are the top reasons that bottled water could be considered ‘bad’:

  • Environmental impact: single use plastic has environmental implications, and the majority of it is not recycled and ends up in landfill
  • Plastic consumption: BPAs are dangerous toxins that can be ingested when people drink out of plastic bottles. This is hazardous to health and has been linked to all kinds of health problems from cancer to hormonal issues.
  • It isn’t necessarily cleaner: False advertising has led many to believe that bottled water is cleaner and less chemically treated. This is not true. Bottled water is rarely fresh from the spring as it is marketed as. Often it will go through extensive cleaning processes that use energy and chemicals.
  • Bottled water isn’t less contaminated than tap water: In fact, it has more microplastic contamination vs tap water. 93% of bottles tested in studies showed some signs of microplastic contamination and contain double the amount found in tap water.

What is better: bottled water or tap water?

There is no better or worse, as it is really up to the individual. However, bottled water has been marketed as a clean and natural alternative to tap water, and actually this isn’t the case. Ideally, it’s best to use tap water and then filter it using your own system. This helps to decrease any toxins and filter the water before you drink it.  

Using a high quality bottle that you can repeatedly use is also a much better option than using a plastic bottle. This is for both environmental reasons and health reasons.

What is the healthiest water to drink?

The best options for healthy water are considered to be filtered water. In countries like the US and UK, tap water is already filtered to remove bacteria, fungi and parasites and is therefore healthy to drink. If you want to purify your water even further, you may choose to filter it so it becomes even cleaner. 

Some people swear by alkaline water, or hydrogen water, and even water that is filtered by active charcoal and crystals. These might bring benefits to the individual, but bear in mind that in the Western world we are privileged to have access to clean and healthy water almost everywhere we go. This is an incredible blessing and one we should not take for granted. Almost all the running tap water accessible to us in the West is healthy to drink.

In terms of how we consume that water in the healthiest ways, there is no doubt that using a food grade stainless steel water bottle that you can reuse and wash regularly in the dishwasher is healthier for both you and the planet.

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